Police Visits Christian Cafe for Display of Bible Passages

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: September 30, 2011

UK, Blackpool: Jamie Murray, Salt & Light Coffee House's owner, has been visited by the Lancashire Police and threatened for the display of Bible versicles on a TV screen inside his property. The police told Murray that the Bible passages use offensive, insulting words, and this constitutes a violation of Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The officers warned Murray that if he didn’t stop, he could be prosecuted for hate speech. The coffee house TV screen connected to a DVD displays images with no soundtrack from "Watchword Bible", which contents verses from the New Testament.

The next day police visited the café owner, admitted they got the law wrong, and said sorry for the ‘manner’ of their investigation. But they refused to apologise for launching the investigation and they also denied banning the display of the Bible texts in the café. Lancashire police officials said in a statement: "The officer discussed the matter with the café owner and at no point was he asked to remove any materials or arrested." "It appears that the officer has misinterpreted the public order act and we have apologized to the café owner for any distress we may have caused," they said. Source:  http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/October/British-Cafe-Owner-Harassed-for-Bible-DVD-/ The café owner, Jamie Murray, says he accepts the police’s apology as far as it goes. He forgives them but he believes some important matters remain unaddressed.
Mr Murray says he will not allow the police to brush the incident under the carpet, because he is worried that it could happen to another Christian. Further information: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/police-say-sorry-over-christian-cafe-bible-case/
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/early-day-motions/edm-detail1/?session=2010-12&edmnumber=2290 Text & video: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/video-police-ban-bible-from-christian-cafe/ Members of Parliament speak out on the case:
http://www.christian.org.uk/news/widdecombe-is-lancashire-police-trying-to-ban-the-bible/?e071011 Sources: http://thecsf.org/csf/2011/09/27/uk-police-ban-bible-from-christian-cafe/